On Monday, Shakira will go on trial in Barcelona to answer allegations that she neglected to pay 14.5 million euros ($15.74 million) in income taxes to Spain from 2012 to 2014. The ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ megastar from Colombia, currently facing a second tax fraud probe from Spanish authorities, has promised to fight back against what she refers to as unfounded allegations.
Shakira maintains that she was not residing in Spain at the time because her business required her to lead a “nomadic life” and paid the tax office what it claimed was due before initiating a complaint.
She turned down a settlement offer from the prosecutor’s office to wrap up the case, and on Monday, she will likely appear in the first of 12 sessions that will take place until December 14.
The prosecutor’s office is asking for a maximum eight-year prison sentence in addition to the return of the taxes it believes she owes.
It claims that Shakira was a regular resident of Spain because she lived there for more than half of each of the relevant years. It also claims that she used the house in Barcelona she purchased in May 2012 as a family residence.
Shakira, 46, has two children with former Barcelona and Spain soccer player Gerard Pique from their 11-year marriage. Following their breakup, the singer—Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll—moved to Miami.
At the trial, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (0900 GMT), Judge Jose Manuel del Amo Sanchez, a well-known jurist, will preside over a panel of three judges who will hear over 100 testimonies.
Major superstars like soccer players Diego Costa, the Brazilian-Spanish Lionel Messi of Argentina, and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal have all been targeted by Spanish authorities for tax evasion. Everyone agreed and paid hefty fines.
However, in a different tax issue, Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso was found not guilty by Spain’s Supreme Court last month. After refusing to negotiate, Alonso ultimately prevailed in court.